In foster care foster parents growing family moving forward

Starting


The idea of foster care came up after the second miscarriage in 2015.

I said absolutely not. My heart was in a place of heavy grief and loss after two children were gone before I got to meet them. The idea of having a child in my home, and in my heart, for a few weeks or months only to have to say goodbye to them? It was unimaginable.

But one thing I have learned in my young life is that time can change nearly anything. I began toying with the idea again earlier this year. After all, there is no guarantee that even if I conceived again that I would carry to term. There are no guarantees in life period, the whirlwind of Nathan's health and moving proved that in a painful way.

So, we talked. And prayed. We tried to think about what it would mean for our lives. And we reached out to friends we know that have been or currently are foster parents to ask them questions and advice.

And this week, we went to the three hour orientation class at Lorain County Children Services to start the process of becoming foster parents.

As I sat there, listening to the stories and the facts and the advice, I felt more and more certain this was what our next step was meant to be. I listened to how to parent a traumatized child and instead of feeling afraid, felt confident that I could do it.

Nathan and I left the class in complete agreement: this is something we are going to pursue.

Here's some of what I learned in that three hours:


  • There are currently 101 children currently in foster care in Lorain county. 
  • There are 73 currently licensed foster families.
  • The goal of foster care is reunification with family.
  • But approximately half of the children in a foster home currently are in some kind of permanent custody heading toward adoption. 
  • We'll be undergoing 33 more hours of classes in October to be licensed as a foster family.
  • The home study after the classes will take approximately three months.
  • Afterward we'll be waiting for our first placement. 
It's a new journey, exciting and scary. But I can't wait to see what happens. 



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In health care insurance millennials pregnancy

Why Aren't Millennials Having Kids?



If you were born in the mid-80's through the end of the 90's, you're a millennial.

I'm a millennial, as are most of my sibling (my youngest brother-in-law is part of Generation Z). And both of my sisters do not want kids. One is so sure she doesn't want them, and has know this since she was a teen, that if she could get her tubes tied she absolutely would. The other isn't as extreme, but really isn't sold on the idea. She adores being an aunt, but being a mom? Not so much.

Those of my friends considering having kids are often of the "one and done" variety. Wanting a big family isn't nearly as common.

I can't pretend to fully understand their reasons, and I've always wanted to have a big family, but the practical side of it? Yeah, I get why they don't want kids.

I work at a very employee-oriented company, and I love my job. But, my job doesn't offer paid maternity leave. Yes, they offer the federally required FMLA 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but let's be realistic, do you know any woman that works that can afford to take three months off without pay? To offset that, you can apply for short term disability where they will pay you 60% of your weekly pay for 6 or 8 weeks depending on your type of delivery. When you combine that with some savings, that is a lot more possible.

However, I got home and checked the mail a couple weeks ago to find a letter regarding my application for short term disability.

Denied.

That's right, because of my medical history they're denying me coverage. Sadly, Obamacare didn't cover disability insurance, just health insurance, so there is not a damn thing that I can do. My medical records are always going to tell you the same story: I had a C-section, two miscarriages, thyroid issues, and a bad battle with depression. I don't know which one of those things was the trigger for them to say no, but those things don't disappear.

Being a parent isn't easy, but it seems that the United States is vastly behind much of the rest of the developed world. Would paid maternity leave change everyone's mind about their future family plans? Of course not. But it would certainly change the conversation.


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In 2017 Flourish learning link up monthly learning

First Borns, France, and Photography [July Learning]



1.) My high school group of friends are all first children.

While having lunch together we noticed something that we'd never noticed before: all of us are the first born children.We all have at least one younger sibling between 2-6 years younger than we are. Maybe that's why we get along so well (and keep in touch, since first born's tend to be planners).

2.) France is the blog's second largest audience. 

Obviously, the most popular place this blog is read is the United States. However, I was surprised to see that the second most views are in France. And then Russia.



3.) Walmart Grocery Pickup is the bee's knees.

The last couple weekends have been SUPER busy. And despite having a thorough list, going to the grocery store always takes at least an hour. So I decided it was worth a shot to try grocery pickup, and it was so worth it. I online shop my list, make sure I stay under budget, pull into the store, check in on the app, and someone loads the groceries into the trunk for me. Best time saver ever.

If you want to try it and want $10 off, here's my referral link (full disclosure, I'll get $10 off my next grocery trip too).

4.) Shutter Speed and Aperture

If I'm going to have a nice camera, it's crucial I know how to properly use it. So I spent a lunch break actually reading the manual that came with the camera, got on Pinterest for some tips, and started playing around. I haven't really figured out the whole shutter speed thing yet, but I'm improving!





2017 Goals Update:

I laid out goals for myself this year, and what better time to check in with them then my monthly learning post? Here's where things stand currently.

1.) Read 50 books!

Current Status:

2.) Meditate daily

Current Status: Not so great... but I did so well with my other goals that I can forgive this one!

3.) Maintain Blog

Current Status:Not only did I do a TON of writing this month (hello 7th post), but I also did a complete revamp of the layout and images.

4.) Write!

Current Status: I wrote and submitted one piece for a writing contest, continued working on my short story, and looked at some other upcoming submission deadlines to keep writing.

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In Cleveland Cleveland Metroparks nature Nikon photography summertime

Bradley Woods Reservation (Learning Aperture)


I've loved photography forever. I won't say I've always been good at it, or even decent really, but I love it. 


So my husband decided to get my the gift I've wanted forever: a real camera instead of using my phone or a little point and shoot. 



Of course, to justify owning this piece of equipment, I want to learn how to use it, and so today I woke up at five (in the morning) and decided to start trying shooting in Manual and adjusting aperture. 



Aperture is defined at the size of the hole that lets light travel. 


Basically, it's perfect for the little details in nature, like flowers and leaves. 


Also, Cleveland Metroparks are so fun to explore. I went to Bradley Woods Reserve in Westlake, a little over 10 minutes from work. Last week when I took pictures at sunrise I went to Huntington Beach in Bay Village, 5 minutes from work. There are so many parks to explore, which means so many more opportunities to get creative with my camera. 


So blog followers? Be prepared for more pictures in my posts, and hopefully as time goes on the quality of those photographs will improve! 


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